KNOW HEPATITIS : THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VIRAL HEPATITIS

Hepatitis as defined in an earlier post is a disease that causes inflammation of the liver. It can be acute, fulminant or chronic. Viral hepatitis is the most common cause of hepatitis, and it is divided into five different types which are Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

Hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A is an infection caused by the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV).
It is usually not as severe as as other types of viral hepatitis, it doesn’t lead to long-term complications, and it normally heals in the space of two months.

Likely Causes
Some of the likely causes of Hepatitis A are:

1. Contaminated food or water
2. Close contact with an infected person

Prevention and Treatment
It can be prevented by taking vaccines, regular proper hand washing, and also avoiding contaminated food or water.
Most cases of Hepatitis A do not require treatment; this is because, Hepatitis A doesn’t develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV).
It is a serious liver disease and can lead to cirrhosis, which can eventually lead to liver cancer.

Likely Causes
The likely causes of Hepatitis B are:
1. Exposure to infectious blood or body fluids of an infected person, for instance, through sexual intercourse, contaminated needles & syringes

2. Transmission from infected mother to child.

Prevention and Treatment
It can be prevented through vaccination, and also avoiding contact with body fluids of infected persons.
Currently, there is no cure for Hepatitis B, however, most people infected as adults recover fully; infants and children are much more likely to develop a chronic infection.

Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is an infection caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV).
It can result in a long-term infection, and it can sometimes lead to cirrhosis.

Likely Causes
Hepatitis B, just like Hepatitis C, is caused by exposure to infectious blood or body fluids of an infected person.

Prevention and Treatment
There’s no vaccine for HCV. Though there exists natural remedies for hepatitis C exist, but many of them do not work. Some drugs has been discovered, which has better targeting for the liver, and therefore may be more effective against hepatitis C for a given tolerated dose.

Hepatitis D.

Hepatitis D is an infection caused by the Hepatitis Disease Virus (HDV).
It is a defective virus that requires the hepatitis B virus to exist.

Likely Causes
HDV cannot exist without the HBV, it can be contracted in the same way HBV is contracted, i.e., through contact with infected blood, contaminated needles, or by having unprotected sex with an infected person.

Prevention and Treatment
It can be prevented by avoiding contact with body fluids of infected persons and by practicing safe sex.

Hepatitis E.

Hepatitis E is an infection caused by the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV).

Likely Causes
The likely cause of Hepatitis E is is drinking contaminated water

Prevention and Treatment
It can be prevented by regular proper hand washing, and also avoiding contaminated water and endemic areas.
Most cases of Hepatitis E do not develop into chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis.

Most cases of hepatitis are asymptomatic, i.e., don’t show symptoms, but when it shows symptoms, it has flu-like symptoms like; fatigue, fever, abdominal pain, nausea and jaundice.

If you notice symptoms like nausea or jaundice, it is advised that you visit your doctor.

If you have questions, kindly ask them in the comment section below.

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